T-Shirt Contest Winners Announced
When we asked our loyal customers to submit quotes for our T-shirt Sayings Contest we had no clue we would get such great quotes, much less such incredible winners. Our winners have great stories about their pets, have huge, caring hearts, and their dogs do amazing work.
The first winning quote, “Paws and Enjoy Life.” was submitted by two different customers. Of course, we awarded both with our prize of five free t-shirts and a $50 gift card to Hollywood Feed. We scheduled times to meet with the winners at the Hollywood Feed location of their choice.
Paws and Enjoy Life...and share the wealth.
Evelyn Eads, Paws and Enjoy Life.
First, we met Evelyn Eads, from Southaven, MS. Her lively, animated personality lit up our store. When she walked in with her family, it was obvious how excited they all were to have won the contest. Evelyn’s husband, Lonnie Eads, accompanied her to the store to get her prize, and her granddaughter, Kristan Seitz, who works for Hollywood Feed at the Southaven location, was also there to celebrate the win. Kristan’s dogs, Kaya and Jenny, who are sprightly members of the family, we also included in the celebration (of course).
When asked about the phrase she submitted, Evelyn said she texts her granddaughter every day and at the end of each message she includes “Paws and Enjoy Life.” She thinks it’s a very important thing to remember, and that reminding her family of that is best said in a way that includes pets; they do remind us every day to enjoy life to the fullest. (Kristan added that she always includes a ton of paw prints! She said her grandmother can never have enough paw prints!)
As we were beginning to pack up to leave, we noticed Evelyn began shopping with her gift cards. What we noticed, though, was that she wasn’t shopping for her dogs, her family, or herself. She was shopping for the shelter dogs at Tunica Humane Society. Southaven’s Hollywood Feed store has a Christmas tree with ornaments featuring pictures of the pets at the shelter. Customers can choose an ornament and purchase items from their wish list. Items purchased will be bagged with the dog’s name and sent to them for Christmas at the shelter. Evelyn chose to use her $50 gift card prize on dogs in need this Christmas.
Help Teach Others to Paws and Enjoy Life.
Yuni Graham, Paws and Enjoy Life.
Next, we met Yuni Graham and her very affectionate Dobie, Kenta. Yuni also submitted the phrase, “Paws and Enjoy Life.” Yuni’s mother, Yoshimi Graham, who keeps Kenta during the day while Yuni works at a local law firm, joined us at Hollywood Feed so Kenta could be a part of the picture. Yuni explained to us that Kenta was her inspiration for the phrase she submitted and we later learned why.
Kenta, a three year old Doberman Pinscher, spends his free time volunteering at the VA Medical Center in Memphis with their animal assisted therapy program. His kind demeanor and gentle disposition make him the perfect candidate for therapy work. Yuni began Kenta’s training when she first got him as a puppy, and worked toward his certification as a therapy dog. Now that he’s official, he reminds people to “paws and enjoy life” on a daily basis.
“Mostly we get together and I talk to the group about the therapeutic benefits of having and caring for a pet and the responsibilities that come with it,” Yuni explained. “I talk about service animals and how they might benefit them. We also spend our visit playing with Kenta. I let them get to know him, walk him, and play games with him. As soon as we walk into the VA most people recognize Kenta, but no one really remembers what my name is, even though I'm required to wear a name badge, which I think is hilarious.”
My Dog (dogs, plural, and cats, and birds) Eats Better Than I Do.
Maggie Elkins, My Dog Eats Better Than I Do.
For our Feed Team employee shirts we chose Maggie Elkins’s submission, “My Dogs Eats Better Than I Do.” We couldn’t have said it better, Maggie! We feel the same way. In all honesty, though, Maggie should have submitted, “My 4 Dogs, 7 Cats, and 3 Parrots Eat Better Than I Do!” She’s an animal lover, without a doubt. Maggie shares her home with her shih tzu, Lixue, her “Heinz 57,” Gibbs, her Staffordshire terrier, Tessa, her seven cats, Naja, Haus, Titi, Tari, Kashta, Nefer-seti, and Sami, and her three parrots, Jake, Archie, and Horus.
Maggie’s husband works in an area filled with factories and warehouses. When he and coworkers found a litter of five kittens just days old he called her to come and rescue them. After raising them to be healthy adoptable kittens they began to search for good homes. It was then that Maggie realized she had fallen in love with each one of them and today they are all members of the Elkins family.
I wasn’t very familiar with parrots so Maggie told me about how intelligent they are. She said her African Gray, Jake, was splashing around in his bath one day and everyone in the house was watching him. He suddenly stopped, frozen in place, looked around toward them and said, “What?” She said it’s like having another human in the house. Now I want a parrot!
We think this worked out perfectly. She’ll put that gift card to good use feeding all those animals!
Thank you to everyone who submitted a phrase to our contest. We received so many great sayings and judging the contest proved to be difficult. We’re excited about our choices, though, and happy to offer the new shirts in all of our locations.
Didn’t submit a saying in our contest? No worries. There will be plenty of opportunities for everyone to participate in future t-shirt contests!
- Billie Claire Darby